A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

April 9, 2009

What is Nuno Felting?

Part of the Nuno Felted Scarf I Created

Part of the Nuno Felted Scarf I Created


Having written a little about my recent felting weekend I realized that some people might not be familiar with the term “Nuno Felting”.  I definitely did not have a clue what Nuno Felting was until this weekend (which was marginally better than my brother who is not familiar with the art of felting and questioned my grammar when I wrote to him that I was “going to felt alpaca”!)


According to Wikipedia the definition of Nuno Felting is:

Nuno felting is a Japanese fabric felting technique. It melds loose fibre, usually wool, into a sheer fabric such as silk gauze. This creates a lightweight felt that can totally cover the background fabric or be used as a single decorative design.

The Nuno felting process is particularly suitable for fine garment making, since silk-backed felt ensures a stable felt that will not stretch out of shape like normal felt. Because it is lightweight and easy to manipulate it can also be dyed more readily than traditional felt. Other fabrics or open weaves can be used as the felting background, resulting in a wide range of textural effects and colours.

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuno_felting



For my scarf I was felting alpaca fiber and decorative yarn onto a silk background.  The silk I used has a lovely iridescent quality that does not show up well in the photograph, and the combination of the silk with a fine layer of alpaca  fiber really does work well.  Not being the most creative of people my design is fairly basic, but I wanted to be able to concentrate more on the technique of Nuno Felting rather than have to worry about a complicated design.


It was fascinating to me to see how the alpaca fiber felted, it would soon turn from loose fiber to starting to have some solidity to it and then becoming felt which was attached to the silk.  As the alpaca fiber felted the silk would start to crinkle making a nice effect to the scarf.


The only things we used to get the alpaca fiber to felt were some cold soapy water (sometimes with felting you use hot water but for my scarf cold water was a better option) and elbow grease.  Felting is a good workout for the hands, arms and shoulders!


The end result of my Nuno Felting project was a soft, lightweight but warm scarf, with a unique design that might be considered attractive depending on your point of view.


I am sure I will be trying Nuno Felting again, it is a fun technique and you can add as much or as little felt design over the scarf as you please so there is plenty of room for creativity.  Now all I need to do is find plenty more time to play with felting (along with spinning, knitting, crochet – the list goes on and on!).





  1. Wikipedia has incorrect information; the nuno technique was started by Polly Stirling in Australia. You may want to check out her website and other materials published by Polly. Nuno does mean fabric in Japanese, but the technique itself was only developed about 15 years ago.

    Comment by enee Fabric Design — April 9, 2009 @ 7:28 pm

    • Thank you for your indormation on Nuno felting and Polly Stirling. It’s always good to be able to give credit where credit is due.


      Comment by alpacalady — April 11, 2009 @ 4:28 am

  2. […] well, I think you get the point. So a long story short I tried my hand at “nuno felting“. Notice the quotes… that’s because it so wasn’t nuno felting. Here is the […]

    Pingback by CraftFail » Blog Archive » Wet felting = all washed up — May 26, 2009 @ 3:57 pm

  3. Nice scarf for your first nuno piece!

    Comment by Nicola — September 10, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

    • Thanks Nicola – it’s time I was trying another Nuno felt piece. Hope I can still remember what to do!


      Comment by alpacalady — September 20, 2009 @ 3:43 am

  4. Question – if your project is not completely felted after 1st try, and you redo the process (wet, roll and throw) the fabric?

    Comment by Deb Walsh — November 1, 2009 @ 2:45 pm

    • Hi Deb,

      I am by no means an expert on Nuno Felting, but I would think that if you redo the process it should work.


      Comment by alpacalady — November 11, 2009 @ 1:55 am

  5. Very stylish hat.

    Comment by craftingareality — October 18, 2010 @ 1:36 am

    • Thank you! I just checked out your blog too. You are so talented, what a creative gift you have. I hope you have success with your latest crafting direction. Your work is beautiful.


      Comment by alpacalady — October 18, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

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